tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 19, 2014 6:00pm-8:01pm EST
the present government has slow decision-making. it is a manifestation of countries new democracy. it is not the most effective system because there is no opposition party. all of the parties have his editions in cabinets and in parliament. you have to get the buy-in of everybody for any system for any declaration to put in place. a very adverse dictatorship in dictators usually create regulations and procedures to suit the wishes and needs of the dictator, not of the society. that is the key issue.
we will talk about that later. to transform the democratic process, you have to go through a very painful process. you can't just -- people don't adopt democracy like they can adopt a new fashion or a new dress or any new sport. no, it is a much more fundamental -- it impacts your core belief in the society, cole -- core roles of society and its citizens, and the role of government. economically, growth runs two digits, just between 2009 and 20 -- in 2011. so you have a significant increase in our production. significant increase in gdp. if you look at the implement numbers, it is more or less the same. it has not significantly changed. that is primarily because of her dependency on oil as a key
revenue generator for the country. all industries account for less than 1% because they are not high labor-intensive. there is not construction or agriculture. so you have to fund of the jobs for people or the government currently subsidizing employment by the government. the constitution stipulates markets [indiscernible] so you have key challenges in your economic development. your governance and your core infrastructure, the core structure of your economy has to be managed better. reality versus perception. people come to me for a visa or ask me if it is safe to go to iraq.
do you feel that the life expectancy and other aspects? and this has to do with perception and not reality to a certain extent. mainly, if you go to the north, go to the south, go to outside baghdad, you don't find that image which people perceive of the whole of a rack. -- of iraq. the relation to development and people wondering about shops and so on. so please bear that in mind. and don't accept the normal cnn or al jazeera normal discourse of violence to the extent that people cannot live or are not able to function. we are. to a certain extent, from a social science point of view, -- sorry, from a government point of view, people are so used to people going about their normal shops and so on.
i'm a social science point of view, it is not healthy. that people are used to so much. so bear that in mind please. the social impact -- i may be wrong, but i don't see a lot of studies on that. it doesn't to jill eight why the arab spring is taking place. i will cover that in a single slide later on. a new social contract, they are unhappy with adverse procedures, rules, moderations, policies of the tatars on the society. it creates more self-centered people. it demoralizes people. it is mentally and culturally adversely impacting societies. these are all signs of a dictator.
and the longer the dictator rules, the more adverse impact you have on that society. this is applicable to egypt, syria and so on. so these bear that in mind also. and also, one other example is ngo's and civil society and so on. they are by the nature dictators that subsistence are weak. you cannot rebuild democracy and rebuild institutions at a faster pace as you would like. because the foundations are not there. the culture has not been created. the procedures in the regulations of the government are not supportive of it. you have to bear that in mind. certain legislations have not been in place. then you have the issue of
democracy as a tool. it provides they must effective tool to transform that society. it allows for the difference of opinions to emerge and to interact with each other and to nourish. it also provide you with enough tools to be able to transform that society. that is a key positive element of democracy. it is not easy. it is not painless. it is a prolonged, painful process. here is a short analysis of democracy in iraq. you can see when you look at the number issue that elections are taking place. i representation. internationally seen as a fair election. people have bought into the process. they can have high
representation in the media in terms of websites, articles. however, the social responsibilities of citizens are still not that clear. people think that they vote, therefore, their roles are finished. no, they need to prolong that. when you have a child and they are teenagers, you cannot say [indiscernible] you have to keep nurturing that child. and into various stage of development as well. this is what has to take place. the adverse proportion between participation in the citizens role and the government roles as well. the earlier the democracy, the more people will have to be more active. the more mature it is, the more you only need them to participate every three years or four years or five years as well. so bear that in mind, please, as
well. as a threat, the key issue is people's expectations. because they have a high demand and they think they are using the right tools, they expect a high return on that investment quickly. that is the key challenge. the region itself -- the arab region is not known for its democratic of element. much like the eastern european transformation from the soviet era to western free democracy. the regional element has no support in it as well. there is no west germany to support east germany. that is not the case. so you have to keep that in mind as well as a key threat to it as well. you also have the diversity of the society. it is not homogeneous. therefore, they have to be able to learn how to interact with each other in a democratic process can so they have to accept the others. they have to sort of nurture each other and, more
importantly, they have to agree on a set of procedures and policies and create the right culture for them to nourish and for developing the country into a more democratic purse -- democratic process. the institution of democracy, government and culture presents the state dictatorship. we decided on democracy as a painful process because we have seen the impact of dictatorship on us. a lot of the discussion at taking place in iraq, should we have a third term for the promised her or not -- and the key question is we want to move away from dictatorship. regardless how good or bad that prime minister is, regardless of how good that president is, we only agreed on two terms. and the same with others as well. that is the key issue. nation building versus state building. i have not seen a great deal can
be even the united states focus on the key differentiator. people still associate nation with state. and it is two different concepts and from the u.s. perspective, it might be the same. because your nation was built at the same time as your state. but from civilization country such as iraq or others, the nation and the state are two different things. the roles and responsibilities of citizens to the state is different than that to the nation. definition of where the nation lies is different and is a coma of islam or is it the arabs or is it the egyptians or iraqis and so on? so there is a difference there. the u.s. project in iraq was primarily on nationbuilding. i think it should have been on state building. to define what it means to be an
iraqi is confusing to us because we are evolving. so unfortunately, that is a bit late to realize, but it is important to realize, when you have this project of this change taking place in syria or in egypt and other places as well, we have to differentiate between the two. to an iraqi, the concept of nation is different than the state. the state is clear. taxation or passport documentation. but your roles and responsibility to the state is different than your nation. the legion caesar different. the source of power is different. so please bear that in mind. unfortunately, i have not seen a lot of analysis. professors tell me if they have seen a great deal of papers and that our books or articles. i think it is worthy of understanding because of the different backgrounds as a
nation or as a state or even your states and iraq and other middle eastern countries. another aspect of it is the change we require in a society. what are the level of change? how did we want to change? do we wanted at the head of the state, to change the prime minister or the president? or do we want to add the government? we are not happy with this lyrical or this party governing or always asking for a change as the state system of government whether democratic or representation or every other kind? or are we upset with the state itself? we don't want the state. we don't want to believe in one state. and we don't believe in statehood as a concept as well.
so you have to understand that. the key question is not what level of change? it's what have we agreed on the level of the change. some are promoting government while others are promoting systems. in egypt, you have that clearly. you have the issue of what was the system. should the muslim brotherhood have an issue of the head of state or the government or the actual system of government needs to change? the discussion we have is on the heads of state. we are not saying that government systems are not rate. we are talking about a different level of change, yes. or the system of government has to change. the key challenge has been in
the post arab spring. the discourse of the level of change within accepted society -- the key challenge, the objective has been hijacked. the objective was not clear. i am unhappy with what i have. but i'm not clear what systems i want to imprison the future. i want to change my social contract, but i don't know what the new social contract will look like. how democratic? how free it is. >> short-term risks on security and terrorism. that is going on in the whole region. the new social contract between citizens, that is a manifestation.
the arab world will remain important strategically. that is because of the geography, because of the regional history. the resource elements, the oil elements as well. regardless how much this discussion in the united states should we be in a wreck or not, the region is important. and will remain important for some time. because after the geography, after the -- and so on. social reform also require procedure changes. sometimes justified because they are not familiar or they are not cognizant of the system in iraq. sometimes i justify it because of the history of dictatorship
factor as a global supplier. we on the best we are on the right projection. for the last 10 years, that has been one of the key sectors in iraq. it is increasing oil production. it is increasing revenue. and increasing the ability to develop its core infrastructure. after three decades of neglect by the dictator. chapter six and seven talk about syria. we have been more consistent than anybody else. providing arms and funds to the syrians. political resolution is the only resolution. this is something we have been promoting for about three years now. we have been the only consistent country in the region with the
same policy. we also are very vocal in saying that we are after a nuclear free zone. whoever has that weapon should not have it. the ones who do not have it should not have it as well. we believe that any new weapons or any wmd weapons, weapons of mass destruction would be a destructive element to the region. there is enough tension to sustain without the need of any new elements to be added to it. on the embassy goal, i have some liberal challenges. one of them is to keep u.s. interest in iraq, established a long-term predictable relationship.
it is exploring mutual interests and threats and opportunities in the united states. also, you have the strategic partnership between the two countries that was signed back in 2008. military, security, culture, energy, transportation and so on. what you have here in the united states, which some people have been calling the iraq [indiscernible] does not apply in iraq. here in the united states, especially after the triple draw in 2011, people are discussing if it can possibly be enough for us to have a strong relationship with.
and security threats in the region have highlighted that important. the corporation in relation to energy has proven that it is profitable. it is advisable. it is mutually beneficial to have that strong relationship. iraqis are eager to purchase most of u.s. transportation sector and health care. i am clear as an ambassador that the relationship has to go beyond from the vice president to the minister or the president to the minister. it has to be more institution-to-institution. to strengthen that relationship. and that will require some time.
i think i am finished with my time. >> thank you, thank you, thank you. [applause] yes, we open for questions. >> thank you for a thoughtful, insightful and forward presentation. >> my pleasure. >> we are grateful you have time to be with us. and if i may take the liberty of beginning the questions and sharing with you some four so you have presented to -- some like yourself who has done very
much conscious, and involved in the middle east. what we have witnessed in the arab world -- he spoke to the arab spring -- is a process of empowerment. arabs do not feel powerless as they have felt in the past. there is a sense of empowerment. the challenge that arabs are facing is affirmation. affirmation. affirmation involves i am responsible. by and single-minded. i can do it.
so through your leadership, that is what is unveiling now. how do arabs move from empowerment to affirmation? as you mentioned, democracy is a process. it is based upon participation. it requires safeguards. so i would like to have some of your comments on this process that you have been talking about. >> ok. what you do have is the region itself transforming from one in which the governance process, which was a dictatorship, people aren't happy with. when they think what we have now is not good enough. we have a substantial increase in our population growth. we have a reduction in our gdp.
in proportion to any other country. so you can start talking about, well, in 1950, we had the same economy as south korea. so why don't we have that? in 1850, we had the same economy as japan. at that time, the emperor of japan and mohammed ali prompted the [indiscernible] in geneva and in israel. same in iraq and same in any other country i can't talk about here in then you have an issue of the governing where people call themselves republican but they wanted children to rule. you had that in yemen and iraq and syria and sort of egypt, sort of tunisia was talking about it.
so you have an issue people saying they call themselves republicans and they were eager for revolutions, but they wanted children to rule. some people are unhappy. population growth, social media so that people are aware what is taking place. you cannot have the iron curtain the situation. so that transformation means i am not happy and i will not change. i wonder if they have that infrastructure and geo, or other infrastructure of society, to transform. that is where it is blackened. so the transformation of freedom , our freedom. you have a power of authority, in certain societies, you have the power of culture. it is dominant.
yet you have a democracy which means the power of governing should be the dominant person. the power of religion and sectarianism and the emergence of al qaeda that does not allow the physical existence of others. for instance, globalization's that promote diversity and communication between the various communities, coexistence, interdependency, that is where the key challenge is. that is why it has been hijacked to a certain extent. you have organizations that are much more effective on the ground or any ngo structure in place to help us take advantage of that situation, that transportation. so is it safe? our arab communities moving in
the right direction? what direction do they want to achieve? still unclear. to me, that is the key difference between iraq and others. iraq has been through that pain. with all that are dysfunctionality of the various government institutions, that might be the case. but the vision of the society is clear. nobody is asking for the change of the system. the fundamental change of the system. >> thank you. yes, we are open. we are fortunate to have you as a rich source for all of us. yes. yes, please. go back. yeah. >> thank you, sir, for your comments. i am bill look this -- bill lucas.
you mentioned that the democratic project in iraq can be perceived by the neighbors as a threat. i wonder if you would speak to your relations with iran and the saudi arabians in that context. >> the threat government is that a mugger sees not cemented in the region to the extent weights that people in the region want to practice democracy. that is one last thing. the other aspect of it is, in democracy, you have a transformation. that presents a level of unpredictability. and people are fearful of unpredictability. people of the region are fearful of them and when they have a dictator, they knew what to get and give to that the tater. when you have a democracy and that the monstrous he sang i would like to increase my whole production to be 6, 7, 8 million. i would like to have an intel
sort of -- on interdependency within the region. but i also would like to have some dependency in my own foreign policy. so you have that issue. within that context, you have a fearful iran on the one side and you have saudi arabia on the other. they have their own legacy to deal with. with iran, they have a seven or eight-year-old war less sanctions and animosity and so on. with saudi arabia, he also have the key issue, which is the sectarian element of that as well.
democracy doesn't mean that the majority rule in iraq. the bow may be unhappy with that. because of the various discourse discourse. i have talked about it. which is a lack of understanding or lack of trust in the people of iraq in developing a society in which they can have control and mutual beneficial relationship with their neighbors. they comment contrast is the core driver. that being the key question. as the new democracy, it has to be a threat. not answer to their system. i am saying what is the decision-making and social power in iraq. that is what i am talking about. nobody in the region is considering iraq as an invading country. >> that is no longer the case. >> iraq is too weak and too fragile. we need to have a safeguard
against that visually. i think that is the key driver. we need to have a strong relationship with all. we cannot afford to have a weak relationship or an adverse relationship at any of the four levels. we have too much meat and we have too much of a desire to have some relationship. we are no longer going to draw the line and say we do not want a relationship with iran because we can't see the benefit to that. we have a lot of religious tourism from iran. we have waterways, shared waterways, shared oil wells and so on. so we cannot afford to have [applause] -- [indiscernible] we can afford having a good relationship with iran and with the iraqi state. tell me another country in the region that have such a
permanent relationship with both countries. nine. but we are the only one because we are choosing it. we are not still being dictated on us. >> your question is very important. historically, iraq and egypt are the two powerful significant force in the arab world. >> how iraq moves has its effect. >> in relation to geography and sectarian and culture and history, that fault line means a shift will take place if anything moves on that. >> go ahead. yeah. >> it is very interesting to
hear. my question to you is it seems to me that iraq has had for the past two decades a crisis of indoor management. transferring the financial income into social aspects. i would like to hear your vision. should the region have more say in the way they want to use the revenue from oil? thank you. >> the iraqi constitution stipulates that the oil is for
all iraqis. and oil as the key commodity in the world means that the interest and the benefit for iraq can be tremendous if it is managed properly. over the last 10 years, we have been able to manage a significant increase in our oil reduction. we have service contract as well. it is not even a production sharing agreement. so we have to maximize the benefits for the iraqi economy or jet -- or revenue-generating. in addition to that, you have the issue of a substantial sort of requirement that leads to the development of core infrastructure, schools, bridges, hospitals, so on. you have a demand for it. you cannot afford mismanaging the revenue. so here you need a good
governance. but you need the buy-in of the people of iraq and you need the buy-in of the political entities of iraq, including the kurdish government in the north or the kr g or the federal entity of afghanistan. the constitution stipulates sharing it. so we started by saying, ok, we will share it in the existing oilfields and new oil fields need to be managed with government control. government supervision or government transparency of these contracts. so we talk about that. plus governments, -- plus governance, it is clear to us that oil is one of the key elements of gelling society together. so we are using that as a strong incentive. the wealth of the country means
that you can manage that. it is not very limited wealth. it is massive wealth. the key restriction is our inability to work at each other. and the key opportunity is our ability to work strongly with each other, to find a mutual into dependent formula. and that is what we are discussing with the kr g. with the provinces, the key issue has been the proportion of oil wealth in the region. so we started saying we give one dollar of each barrel to the region and the rest goes to baghdad for the solution of the provinces. now we are moving to the 2014 budget to articulate five
dollars per barrel. that means that one province will be one of the very rich is soon. and more or less across iraq. most of the provinces have either gas, oil or refinery, which means that it will increase our share of the oil revenue toward them. we have a key challenge in the whole government over the last 10 years and that is to do with
the ability to govern -- sorry, the good governance, which means that legislation needs to reflect your ability to understand your social, economical and political sort of entity and drivers of the society. so we have issues with that in recently, let me give you a simple example. recently, there was a retirement law -- over the last month i am talking about. there was a substantial discussion about should parliament pass a retirement law or not. and that has to do with the social, economic and political environment as well. two days ago, mug. us said nobody has any ripped dentition of may. he retired from politics and that is the extent i am talking about. having good governments -- good governance is crucial. the wealth is enough to share it and we don't need to have too many fights about it. all we need to do is get the right formula. and we are working hard on that. >> would you like to comment on that decision to retire for him -- retire from politics? >> no. [laughter] >> i agree with what you said in building institutions. it takes a long time. a long long time. >> people don't know that.
>> i lived in 23 different countries. i can tell you. it is difficult. your statement that the iraqis want democracy, the current debate in iraq right now to continue the government. but i am concerned about the other side, the violence, the security issue. you had a thousand deaths last month. i won't get into the details, but a thousand deaths. so not everybody is in agreement. i am looking at the security issue as representing a non-agreement. >> you can't have a significant disruption to society if certain elements of it are diehard in their resistance.
let me give you a simple example. north ireland, ira, if you do your study on that, it says that it went up 500. they restricted it. if it is 500 one, somebody has to resign. so you can have a small element in society, but they can be very destructive and they can be very productive when they move into the political process. so you have that element. you also have turbulence in serious next door. in which the provision of arms has not reduced the level of violence in syria. i'm talking from all size. political support, media support.
al jazeera is a good example. so you have that as well. and you also have a society which has made it a clear determination to move over from dictatorship or from minority rule. so you have that as well. so what you have now is these elements fighting chemical reaction to each other. if that is what you have in iraq sectarian war? it is not a neighborhood war. we had that in 2005, 2006, 2007, or 2008. but we moved away from that. you have two so-called leaders come to washington and none of them overtly discussed the use of violence. they were talking about the political process, forming the political process. so you have the majority of the sunnis saying we want to be an integral part of it.
the discussion was that we were not integrated enough in the political process. not that we want to move away from it. we also have a vicious enemy in al qaeda which does not allow the existence, the political or physical existence of others. so you have to deal with that. unfortunately, even the united states has challenges with al qaeda, with all their mighty and powerful capabilities. so you have that as well. and iraq has problems, legacy problems back in 2003. some of these issues, such as water control, were never managed properly even up to now. you always had problems from the syrian's coming into iraq, terrorism from al qaeda and so on.
so you have these elements. this is unfortunate. this is something we should not live with. true. but is it stopping the democratic process? it is hindering it. i wouldn't say it is stopping it. the cousin of the determination of people to move with the democratic process. -- because of the determination of people to move with the democratic process. >> thank you. let me continue the questions. in terms of regional leadership, egypt's position as a leader in the arab world is going through challenges. iraq has almost as fully role of leadership because saudi arabia and others do not have the equipment to exercise it. [indiscernible] we know that democratic behavior is a learned behavior.
how do we train people for democracy? how can they learn it? >> i know you guys are more specialists in this area, but i have a hobby in anthropology. my own specific background is in organization culture. and i am aware that, when you look at a society culture, there are three elements you have to work on on three levels. you have the behavior element of a society. dictatorship sometimes can change your behavior or force you to change her behavior. you have the lead element of societies. so you have whatever they believe in. so it is a conviction. and you have the assumption
element of a society. the regents don't lack the core substance of democracy. it is trying to have the behavior of democracy in place. it is changing its theoretical and conviction of democracies for social harmony. and it is far and away from having basic assumptions of society. it requires a long time. and it is the hardest to and grain or take out that assumption of democracy in a society. so here you need a bit more interaction, openness, social media and others. but it has to be in a clear method of a clear vision of what you want extended to that society. most importantly, you cannot import democracy. nor can you estimate in as fast a pace as you would like because of the various drivers of those societies.
in the united states, you don't have the driver of a culture or religion as the key driver. you have a set of governance or law as a key driver with diversity of nations and so on. and in japan, you don't have that. you have a junior society and you have a core set of government. ♪ in iraq, you have still a confusing picture of who should govern. is it the tribal leader? is it the central government? or is it the religious leader? that will take time. that is the same with egypt and elsewhere. that is why the muslim brotherhood works well in
secular countries because they where more than one hat. it is important that people appended from the complexity rather than just said, while, why can't we be democratic? because it is not as easy as you would expect. even the society had to go through civil war's and so on to try to get some alignment of its various institutions of various societies to work with each other. >> the organizer of our session has very generously provided us with things here. so let's linger together and we will have some -- i didn't see you. go ahead. louder, please. >> yes. hi. >> [indiscernible] could you comment a little bit on what you mean by that. why do you think that is the case?
hand if he could, and a little bit about the mindset that develops [indiscernible] >> the issue of dictatorship, the longer you have -- the longer and more ruthless the attainder ship is on a society, the longer it takes to sort of take off that coats and move away from that culture. the same in east europe and the same in the middle east and so on. they key issue -- that may give you the key challenge we have in iraq. when people say that the state is therefore the privilege of the dictator, for the wish and the desires of the dictator, and
the needs of the dictator, not of ours, that means that people don't associate themselves from the state and so i would think him a fluting takes place, that is no longer their problem. that is what took place in iraq. if occupation takes place, that is no longer their problem. the united states came and occupied. saddam and his forces tried to fight back. what happens is that people dislodge themselves from the state. they say this is not our wish. this is not our desires. whatever he wishes, it is for his, not for us to there is no and if it. the sanctions which the u.n. imposed on iraq was more detrimental to the social fabric of iraq than anything else.
people associated the united states with sanctions. not saddam. saddam was not impacted by this. he kept the link palaces. food, getting away with a smuggling system. he more or less created an economy and parallel with the normal economy but also a to do with smuggling and with the galaxy. he legitimized smuggling in iraq. so now we have that as well. now you have all of that impact moving on to a new chapter called post-2003. you need to cleanse yourself of that process and procedures and culture and that takes up while. after the first question again? >> [indiscernible] >> the media element. it is easier to sell bad news. it is more complicated to try
hard to understand a society than the complexity of a society. by the way, i'm not saying that we are clear in our own minds which had we are wearing and what others are not. i'm saying we are sometimes unclear on what has we are wary because of the various complexities of the society, which is to do with the element of shia, sunnis, kurds, to do with geography, to do with people who are outside of iraq versus people inside, to do with buses and so on. elements and players of society. media looks for simple, sellable elements, which is to do the violence or whatever it's called. it is not as simple as that. i wish it was.
then you have binary elements and you deal with it in a binary wary. -- binary way. but it's not. but it is hard to understand the drivers of such arianism. in my own ministry, someone went in with a suicide vest and his motorbike and 11 of my colleagues died a few weeks ago. those who were killed were sunni she's -- sunni shiites and there were christians as well. so there is no clear-cut. when you go into a mosque, maybe -- but when you going to a supermarket or a school or others, or a hospital, that is nothing to do with the sectarian element. that is destabilizing the rule of law. >> thank you, thank you, thank you. [applause]
let's mingle. >> following the release of a report yesterday, a man spoke today at an event hosted by the christian science monitor. he discussed at the raising and mom wage and why they supported. >> increases have little to no .ffect you seem to think your report lined up. do you think the loss of 500,000 jobs would equal little to no impact on unemployment? toi will not speak directly what leader pelosi has said. i can only speak about our analysis.
as i said before, our analysis is quite consistent with leading economists. what i noted about this letter and the survey that i refer to is that those economists do not put numbers to those words. know what they meant by little to no effect or what they meant in the survey by noticeably harder to find a job. for nine dollars minimum wage which is the increase that is most consistent with what economists have studied in the past in terms of how far into the wage distribution it cuts, our interest in that proposal suggests that the client would 2.5% and a slight increase. i think it 2.5% decline to many people would be a small decline and a slight increase would be
consistent with there being no affect, roughly. i do not think one can tell from in this letter -- we cannot be sure exactly how that economists would take our results. that is not a sampling of economists. i just think you can tell anything from that particular wording. nor does that prove that they are agreeable. to do ahave done is very careful reading of literature and put some weight on a wide range of results. naturally, economists who put more weight will reach certain conclusions and some economists will find our estimates to be larger than they would pick themselves and others would find employment effects to be smaller. our job is to provide a balanced reading and we have done that. >> i am wondering if you can put
a percentage to what the chance is that the impact on unemployment could be far lower, say 100,000. but we have provided is from a very slight increase in two -one million workers. we say we have constructed this range to capture, as best we can judge, two thirds of the distribution. that means there is in our judgment a one in six chance. and a one in six chance that a increase to $10.10 would increase employment. and a two thirds chance that that could be a slight decrease of about one million workers. >> does this surprise you at all?
yous this something expected? this reaction? or ask for much of the work we do, there is a range of reactions. doinge great pains in analysis to read widely ahead of time and to consult with people who have a wide range of views. if you look at the people we listed the end of our document and who we spoke about this work, you will see from knowing their own work that they change this question with a very different set of views on what would happen. we understand the range of reactions among professionals and analysts and among policymakers. that does not surprise us nor does it have any affect on the work that we do. at aboutl of that 11:00 p.m. eastern and any time at c-span.org. looking at our primetime schedule, starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, a debate on evolution versus creationism
between the science guy, bill my and then ham. ben hamm.d on that 8:00 pm program, we are asking you at a time on facebook and twitter, your thoughts on evolution versus creationism. mary says, i believe in god and i believe in creation and i also believe in evolution. more at facebook.com/cspan. >> the beauty of america is that in this country, we have the ability to write the script of our own life. we are the driving seat of our own future.
our biggest decisions in life are made by us. america creates the sense of possibility and out of that, you can become an activist, a community organizer. what are you doing? you are living off the great capitalist explosion of wealth that you didn't even create. >> it is hard to know where to begin. nobody says america is the most terrible place. there are a couple of assertions that you have to take on face that are astonishing. one is the idea that america's great invention was wealth creation. the success of the entire continent? [applause] that doesn't mean 90% of the residents who live here were murdered. that was part of it too. >> a debate on what is so great about america, friday night on
c-span at 8:00 eastern. >> energy secretary honest moniz -- ernest moniz announced his approval of nuclear reactors in use georgia. he spoke about u.s. energy policy and answered questions at the national press club for about an hour. most of his one dozen predecessors, energy secretary ernest moniz serving at a time of unprecedented energy supply and security for the united states. as his department reported in its annual energy outlook for expansion in domestic production of crude oil and natural gas is reshaping the economy. , much fromroduction the use of controversial jai alai like -- hydraulic fracturing technology has oil ofput nearing 1970 levels 9.6 million barrels per day.
that production will cut america's reliance on imported crude oil to about 25% in a few years. it has also led to secretary moniz's recent statement that it might be time to lift the decades-old u.s. ban on exporting crude oil. the increased amounts of natural gas on the market are forcing the closure of many coal plants and supporting the obama administration's drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. in addition, there is enough supply so natural gas can be exported to mexico, canada and overseas. in addition, the production of electricity from wind and solar power is at record levels. secretary moniz embraces president obama's all of the above energy strategy including support for nuclear power as long-term carbon-free power source and hydraulic fracturing to produce natural gas until a new generation of low carbon
energy technology emerges. those positions have not endeared him to many in the environmental community. the secretary is helping to develop the energy review, which will focus on the development of a comprehensive strategy for the infrastructure involves in transporting, transmitting and delivering energy. nuclear physicist, he led the energy program at the massachusetts institute of technology before he joined the obama administration last may. he was under secretary of energy during the clinton administration. please join me in welcoming to the national press club, ernest moniz, secretary of energy. [applause]
>> thank you. it is a great pleasure to be here at the press club and to note also, i learned this is the president's first lunch as president. i feel honored doubly. i also want to thank the speakers committee for pulling this event together. you have also been introduced to some of my colleagues who may pitch in on some of the questions. it has been a busy few weeks since the president gave his state of the union speech. traveling across the country, highlighting and reinforcing some of the messages in terms of the administrative efforts to promote production and create jobs and opportunities and address serious issues surrounding climate change. i will start with the travel log. three weeks ago i was in virginia to talk about stem creation.
this is a critical challenge. we need to draw upon all of our talents among the population. it was impressive, in particular, to see how at hampton university, it has evolved into a research university parlayed by drawing on collaboration within nearby department of energy and nasa facilities and recruit the president to be an ambassador for the new minorities and energy program. two weeks ago i was in texas, the university of texas in austin and san antonio. there, talking about domestic oil and gas production. meeting with students and entrepreneurs doing some things that are pretty fascinating.
we explored how it is and can work more to move through energy efficiency. this was made hospital by an -- this would make possible -- was made possible by an extraordinary public-private partnership. state governments and utilities that are the customers for the solar generated electricity. in a few minutes, i will talk about tomorrow's travel and another piece of the president's all of the above approach to energy and climate. i will note the travel encompassed california, texas, virginia and tomorrow another southeastern state. we are saving the north tour for spring and summer, although as we have seen, we have had a real touch of winter going pretty far south and that is something we need to pay
attention to, and in fact, a pointed out -- a theme that we are focusing on at the department of energy, which is the resilience of the energy infrastructure. reinforcing different parts of the energy system, let me return to the state of the union where you heard the president reiterate the importance of energy and climate. i will make a brief quote. "one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is the commitment to american energy. the all of the above american energy strategy i announced a few years ago is working. today america is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades." so today what i want to do is elaborate more on the strategy. note that all of the above is
not a slogan, it is a policy and a pathway to creating jobs, and that the same time, reducing carbon emissions that recently stood at the lowest level in 20 years. all of the above, as we will discuss, certainly encompasses fossil fuels, nuclear power, renewables, energy efficiency, but it starts with a commitment to lowering carbon emissions and addressing irrigation -- the mitigation responsibilities that we have for climate change. so let's start looking at the sources and discussing it in this context. as you all know, we are producing more natural gas than ever before. the energy administration forecast this will continue for the foreseeable future. about half of the drop we have seen in carbon emissions are due in fact to the low to moderate
priced gas, particularly through substitution for coal in the electricity there. we are producing a lot more gas, but we are using it as what is sometimes referred to as part of the bridge to a lower carbon future. at the same time, this has had a remarkable effect on domestic manufacturing. the president said businesses have or will invest $100 billion in new factories that use natural gas. frankly, i think this was probably appropriately on the conservative side. the administration will be committed to supporting innovative manufacturing across the united states. in fact, last month, the president traveled to north carolina and announced that north carolina state university
had been select the to lead the newest manufacturing innovation hub, one dedicated to semiconductors for power electronics, which has implications across many parts of the energy industry and this will bring together companies, universities, federal resource centers under one roof to both generate this next generation of power electronics. the president announced lands to launch six more manufacturing plant this year. we are ready started one in concert with the department of defense. we will do more this year. that will include the department of energy. oil -- tremendously increase production. we are producing more crude oil
at home than we are importing. how does this fit in with the climate? the climate commitment that i indicated earlier. it fits in because in no way does this increase production, which has dramatically decreased imports. obviously helps in terms of balancing payments. but we continue to focus on reducing dependence on oil. here we have a three-pronged strategy. first, efficiency standards for vehicles. the standards enacted in the president's first term are projected to save 2 million barrels per day of oil by 2025 and saved a u.s. $1.7 trillion in fuel costs. the other prongs of the approach include an ongoing commitment to develop next-generation biofuels. those costs are coming down. finally, to continue to advance electrification of vehicles.
the cost of vehicle batteries has dropped significantly in the last four or five years. we have a significant ways to go but we should all keep focusing on the fact that these costs are dropping. if i've returned to the efficiency standards, just yesterday the president directed the epa to develop an issue, the next phase of medium and heavy duty vehicle fuel efficiency standards by the end of march. the department of energy office of energy and renewable energy is working with industry on what is called a super truck collaboration to in fact advanced the technologies that will be needed to meet the new standards coming forward. the idea is to improve the efficiency, the 10 mile per
gallon, by at least 50% in class eight trucks, heavy duty long haul trucks. they are about four percent of the vehicles and use about 25% of the transportation fuel. they do not get very good mileage. increasing that is a high leverage situation. literally as i walked out the door on the way here today, i witnessed the first product of that super truck collaboration. this was a peterbilt super truck. it had achieved already a 75% increase in fuel efficiency. the technologies contributing to it from advanced engine technology, advanced powertrain technology, aerodynamics and other innovations, they will start working their way into the commercial products.
things like this will be critical for meeting the new challenges. the message is that oil production greatly increasing. oil imports decreasing but continue to work heavily on the oil demand side. in fact, the u.s. trade deficit fell to a four year low in november in no small part because of the booming domestic energy production. those are some of the fossil fuel initiatives. we have also seen remarkable progress in clean and renewable energy. in the last five years, we have almost doubled the amount of wind and solar electricity. we intend to see a doubling of that in the next five years. one of the tools we used for advancing renewables, in
addition to research and development and programs and the like is our loan program. i want to spend a little time on that. let me mention one program that sums up the administration's all of the above approach in our loan portfolio. we are supporting right now first a portfolio of more than $30 billion invested in more than 30 projects around the country. we recently announced up to $8 billion in available loan guarantees for advanced fossil energy projects that will reduce carbon emissions and increase efficiency. we provided more than $8.4 billion in loans to the auto industry to allow domestic auto producers to ritual american factories to produce cleaner and more efficient vehicles that are increasingly demand at home and
around the world. these range from loans to establish major companies like ford, retooling factories in six states, to start ups like tesla with a very different business model. a very high-performance vehicle, which will start export next month. we have committed more than $24 billion in loan guarantees to a variety of clean energy renewable projects across the country. these are supporting one of the world's largest wind farms. several of the largest solar energy systems and more than a dozen new or retooled auto manufacturing plants. last week i was in california for the opening of the solar energy generating system.
the world's largest concentrating solar power system. it received a $6.1 billion loan guarantee from the department of energy. back in that time, where if you recall, some of us are already forgetting it was not exactly easy to get debt financing in that time. so this program was really critical for kickstarting major utility scale projects. this project is a remarkable feat of innovation and engineering. over 300,000 mirrors the size of garage doors reflect the energy to three massive powers were water is heated, converted to steam and then spinning turbines. nearly 400 megawatts of power. this is on the order of what one needs to surface, nearly 100,000 homes. so they have now demonstrated to the private sector that this technology is feasible on a scale that has not been seen before.
it opens up an export market for this technology and suitable geographies. we all know there are first mover problems in terms of new technology at a new scale and that is essentially what we are doing, getting over the first mover problem for commercial scale activities. i should say that we have also had remarkable success through investments in large-scale technology as well. helping to finance the first five plants, larger than 100 megawatts in the united states. again, proving to industry these projects were viable. subsequently, 10 utility projects are now privately financed without department support. that is the nature of the program.
kickstart and get the first movers out there and then have the private sector come in. last year was a banner year for solar. 2.3 gigawatts, 2300 megawatts of solar were installed in the united states in 2013. i want to emphasize that we have issued or made provisional commitments of over $30 billion of loan guarantee. we have substantial remaining authorities over $40 billion. we are planning to move forward across the energy spectrum with more projects, assuming we can find good commercial type projects that could benefit from this kind of debt financing. i should also add efficiency is critical. indeed, we believe certainly in the long term a solution to
climate change will require major efforts on the demand side, and clean energy on the supply side. one of the ways the department of energy is moving forward on this is by picking up the pace on issuing appliance efficiency standards. already just a few weeks into 2014 we finalized efficiency rules covering external power supplies. no individual one of these may sound overwhelming but the cumulative effect of all of the new efficiency standards will be to reduce carbon emissions by more than 3 billion tons. that is not bad for a series of actions addressing essentially every day appliances. we have also seen remarkable
breakthroughs on the technology side. today led lights, perhaps the factor of six more efficient. a single fixture replacing a 60 watt bulb with $130 of lifetime energy cost savings to consumers, and the prices are now below $10. i can guarantee you you will see them significantly below $10 this year. this is the kind of cost reduction that will drive the transformation of our system to clean energy. let me say a few words about climate change specifically. going back to the state of the union, the president stated the strong commitment to reducing domestic carbon emissions. the president said, "when our children's children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we
could to leave them a safer, more stable world with new sources of energy, i wanted to be able to say yes, we did." one feature of that is the reaction to what we have been seeing in terms of the number of extreme weather events. clearly i am not here to tell you we can tie any storm or drought or climate change individually to warming, but the patterns are alarming and they have been statistically anticipated for quite some time. 20-25 years. what we see is warming amplifying the effects of such things as storms. superstorm sandy was an example of a category one hurricane
transformed into a storm that devastated much of the northeast coastline. last summer president obama in the climate action plan emphasized not only the issues of cutting carbon emissions to avoid as much as possible the impacts of climate change, but he also emphasized the importance of preparedness to the consequences of climate change. sometimes called, adaptation. the department of energy has some major roles to play, particularly in leading response around the energy infrastructure. we put out a report last summer detailing vulnerabilities of the energy sector to climate change. in 2012, several power plants in illinois had to get special permits to operate with higher than normal allowed discharge
temperatures for cooling water. this past summer wildfire damage threatened california, leaving the governor to declare a state of emergency, even though the fires were distant from the major load centers. july of 2012, a number of companies that extract natural gas and oil through hydraulic fracturing were denied access to water for weeks or more in several states. so that is just emphasizing the energy-water nexus that is one of the areas of major concerns with climate change. so resiliency in particular the electrical grid and fuel supply will be a major focus this year as we work throughout the administration on the quadrennial energy review. its first installment of 2014 will focus specifically on the transmission, storage and
distribution of energy, and as we have seen, even only in the past weeks our infrastructure challenges require urgent attention. president obama expanded on these resiliency efforts last week and he announced that his 2015 budget submission would include a new $1 billion climate resilience fund. through this fund, we will be able to help communities plan and prepare and further support breakthrough technologies that will make us more resilient in the face of a changing climate. let me end by returning to my southern itinerary since the state of the union. as we have said, the itinerary has reflect that all of the above. i have mentioned fossil fuels, efficiencies and renewables. tomorrow i will travel to waynesboro, georgia to finalize
a $6.5 billion loan guarantee for the construction of nuclear reactors. in 2010, the department of energy offered conditional commitments to support construction of the country's first new generation nuclear power plant in nearly 30 years. this was in the spirit of the first mover challenge of getting new nuclear plants built, and three separate commitments made to three of the four owners of the plant. tomorrow, the department is closing on two of those commitments to georgia power and another power operation, constituting $6.5 billion of loan guarantees. truly, i want to emphasize we are working across the board to try to push the technology forward into the marketplace for all of our energy sources.
these will be new 1100 megawatt ap 1000 nuclear reactors. theier, the doe cost shared moving design of the certification onto a program to stimulate the development of next-generation reactors with passive safety features. once completed, the new units will produce enough safe and reliable energy to power 1.5 million homes. the president did make it clear he sees nuclear energy as part of america's low carbon energy portfolio, and it already is a major part of carbon-free portfolio. to conclude, obviously an exciting time in the energy world.
we are producing more domestic energy here in the united states than ever before. the promise of clean, affordable domestic energy is finally coming true on a massive scale. we did not get here by accident. the advances in clean, renewable energy did not happen by accident. in fact, monday was the five-year anniversary of the signing of the american covering -- recovery and reinvestment act. worth remembering the president took office in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the great depression at a time the economy was losing over 700,000 jobs per month in the midst of the worst six-month time for gdp growth in over 60 years. the recovery act was an unprecedented effort to jumpstart the economy, save and create jobs and make a down payment on addressing long neglected challenges so the country could thrive in the 21st
century. some of the most important investments were in clean and renewable energy. the recovery act helped provide more than $16 billion in loan guarantees to 25 energy projects. at a time when debt financing was just not available. these and other investments, the science office, they are establishing tomorrow's clean energy technologies to meet the domestic needs or affordable and secure clean energy, and to position us as a major supplier to the global market. to finish, a nonprofit estimated the world will need a global investment of $36 trillion or nearly $1 trillion per year on average over the next four
decades to address climate change on the scale we believe is required. while of course applying energy and managing the demand side. that is a pretty serious investment. many of us think that doing nothing will be far more expensive. when those technologies are deployed, we cannot afford to be at the back of the train. we want to be driving the train, leading the world in these industries. investing in clean energy is not a decision that limits economic potential, but an opportunity to lead the global clean technology markets that are forming right now. tomorrow, maybe i will ask the three and a half thousand construction workers how they
feel about the opportunities in this new economy. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. you made several references to the state of the union address. i know you were not present because you were designated to watch the shop while the other cabinet members went to the hill. i hope your colleagues are envious of you because you got to come to the national press club while they had to stay elsewhere. thank you again. you have hinted some of the older energy regulations need to be revisited and reviewed. how and when do you see that happening? >> first, i have to clarify that i did not say the restrictions should be lifted.
to clarify, the response to a question on the differences and how gas and oil exports are managed was simply to point out that many steps were taken in the energy world in the 1970's in response to the oil embargo. for example, the creation of the department of energy and obviously the energy world has changed and one might be re-examining a whole set of issues in the context of today's energy market. >> what will be the focus of your first review? >> as i stated, the focus is on infrastructure and storage and distribution of energy.
i think as we narrow that down further, i think we have seen in the past months really two major focus areas. one is the electricity grid and how we develop a grid for the future. one that is more resilient perhaps. one that allows large-scale renewables. one that may provide new services to consumers, and in doing so, to address the whole variety of risks that we face. we mentioned in our remarks the risk of extreme weather. obviously cyber security is a major issue. a very significant fraction of the cyber attacks in this country are in fact on energy infrastructure. another are physical risks. some of you may have seen
chronologies of physical threats to the electricity infrastructure. another risk is the interdependency of the infrastructure. as we saw and sandy when the grid going down took out access to transportation fuels. that is one major focus. another major focus will be around the infrastructure for distributing fuels. again, in the last weeks we have seen the problems in new england with natural gas prices. we have seen the continuing concerns about propane. again, the issue was getting the product from where it was to where we needed it and the infrastructure was not there. >> had you been working on climate change issues for countries that produce a lot of
emissions, such as india? how do you believe they should reboot energy sources? >> we are carrying on extensive dialogue of cooperation with china and india, for example. china is by far the largest coal user. around 4 billion tons per year. that is maybe five times what the united states is using at the moment. with both china and india, i will be going to india in about two weeks. i was in china recently. in china, when i was there, all of the senior government officials focused immediately upon the bad air quality issue. it is not just carbon emissions but air quality. the day that i arrived the index
in beijing was roughly 10 times that allowed here under epa regulations. they have a very strong motivation to address emissions across the board, but i also want to emphasize that i would say in all the discussions we have had, their commitment to addressing carbon emissions is real. clearly they are balancing that against economic growth. one of the things we're doing is trying to increase collaboration on the carbon dioxide capture utilization and sequestration technologies that are key for us and them it to be using coal in a low carbon world. >> a few questions from some of
our international correspondents. one from russia. you had negotiations with your russian counterparts. do you have new programs which you want to develop with russia in the near future? >> we did indeed complete the megawatts program. for those of you not familiar, perhaps a brief explanation is in order. starting in 1993, the united states and russia went into a partnership in which 500 tons of highly enriched uranium from the nuclear weapons program was down blended and became used as fuel in american civil nuclear power plants. it is not widely known that half of the nuclear power plants were operating on the former russian weapons material for 20 years. this was a program that was completed on schedule, and probably the most successful
nonproliferation program removing weapons material that we have had. with the head of the organization and russia, we are discussing a number of new initiatives, and have signed an agreement to have more collaboration. there is a very strong interest on collaborating on civilian nuclear power. there is a very strong interest on collaborating on national security programs with our laboratories and a very strong interest in collaborating on things like unconventional gas and oil production. >> another question from a japanese colleague. the u.s. energy department authorized exports to japan last week. this is the third approval for japan. for the united states, what kind
of interpretation would you put under those approvals? are there more to come? >> i should clarify that we did indeed issue the sixth approval last week. one of those is final. five are still conditional awaiting environmental review before those become final. i do want to clarify the department of energy does not choose where the cargoes go. what we do is make a public interest determination on export to countries with which we do not have a free trade agreement. that would include japan. certainly the questioner is correct that three of the six to have as major customers, japan. that included the cameron license last week. we are continuing with the
announced procedure in terms of evaluating license applications for public interest in the order that has been posted since 2012 on the website. >> as you would expect, mr. secretary, a lot of these cards are questions related to the keystone pipeline. i think i could summarize with one question, what is your opinion on the project, and would you like to make a major announcement, because the national press club is where news happens. >> i will not be making news in this case. my opinion and statements of fact is that secretary kerry, the department of state has responsibility for making the public interest determination, and we look forward to his doing so. [laughter] >> we will ask him to come tomorrow.
>> your predecessor -- thank you. your predecessor started a number of initiatives focused on streamlining federal agency reviews of electric transmission infrastructure projects. what are your plans? do you intend to keep it a high priority and how much can they realistically accomplish? >> first, it is the case that as suggested our authorities are somewhat limited, although there are certainly authorities that can be used, particularly for moving large-scale renewables across large distances. all i can say is that we are looking at several possibilities. we actually did -- was commissioned through the loan program, there was a
transmission line built and commissioned with loan support in nevada recently to move renewables across the state. now there are some applications that would cross state lines or in fact international borders, particularly in new england and are under active consideration. >> levels of methane greenhouse gas have been rising since 2007. the news report says the budget is down for monitoring this. do regulators know whether the fracking is the cause of increased methane levels? do we have sufficient funding to stay on top of the potential problem with fracking? >> first, let me say that we have a very active interagency methane emissions working group. it involves the domestic policy council, department of energy,
department of interior and the usda. there are methane issues in the agricultural side, which we will not talk about here. so first of all, we are very active in that. certainly one of the major issues that i think is suggested is that we certainly need more data in terms of what are methane emissions. not just from production wells, but and to end, including transmission and distribution systems for natural gas. now, there have been recent publications, one that got a fair amount of attention in "science magazine" last thursday for example. the suggestion there, and i am just repeating what they said, quite a respectable group of
authors, that the total methane emissions are probably somewhat higher than epa's current estimate, although certainly in the ballpark. more than likely the production wells are not the major focus of that. we need more data and then to respond in a variety of ways. there are others in the private sector that are doing a terrific job as well. there is a blue-green alliance of environmental groups and labor unions looking at the methane problem, and we will be convening the groups to redevelop an action plan. i would also say when it comes to production wells and unconventional shale or oil production, that certainly that technologies for capturing the methane are there. they are being increasingly
used, so-called green completions. recently in north dakota the state government made a commitment to 95% capture of methane, much of which is being flared because of lack of infrastructure. over the next few years i am certainly hoping we will see significantly reduced emissions. >> i teach my students that sometimes a follow-up question is important. leaving aside that secretary kerry in the state department will have to make an ultimate decision, can you give us insight -- what is the insight the department of energy on the keystone pipeline impression? >> follow-up questions often lead to the same disappointment as the initial question. [laughter] we are currently in a time in
which the agencies are to make comments on the supplementary environmental impacts they -- impact statement. >> i was thinking of an answer to the follow-up question. appreciate it. this is what we do good at the national press club. i am so glad you could come and the other cabinet members had to say away while you could come to the national press club. where will the department of energy likely have the most impact on u.s. energy policy during your tenure? >> well, i might broaden it to energy technology. certainly on the policy side, we
have mentioned the quadrennial energy review under development. i do want to emphasize the review is led out of the executive office of the president where they will convene in agencies across the administration. the department of energy has a special role in terms of providing the executive secretary and the analytical capacity to analyze many of the crosscutting issues. the product of the first year's activities will be a set of recommendations for advancing energy infrastructure questions and as we go to the next year and next year, that will broaden out to include the supply side, demand-side, etc. that will be the mechanism and engine for driving administration-wide policies with strong political grounding. on the technology side, we will continue through the whole spectrum of programs from our efficiency and renewable programs.
and loanar programs programs. we will keep pushing the envelope across the entire spectrum of research, development demonstration and deployment. let me say that many of you are quite aware that the role of the government in research and development is generally quite accepted. once one goes to the deployment end of the spectrum, there is more divergence of you as far as -- divergence of views as far as the role of the federal government. i want to say that i think the need to accelerate the pace of change in response to climate challenges makes it essential that we continue to do investments such as those i mentioned earlier in the loan program that get the first movers out there in the commercial market, pushing the
technology envelope so that the marketplace will eventually have the set of choices it needs for the various low carbon solutions that will be needed in different parts of the country in different countries of the world. that is the way we're looking at it and expect to make significant impact in both of those realms. >> a question about solar power. solar power is fast becoming as affordable as natural gas. why is the obama administration failing to incentivize -- failing to give incentives for solar power infrastructure since it is more climate friendly?
>> we are providing major incentives for solar power. it is a big spectrum. i already mentioned the loan program for the first five utility plants. we also have five solar thermal plants, two of which are operating. beyond that, we have a whole are -- a whole variety of mechanisms. we have a program that has very explicit targets for lowering costs. what is important is that the programs are not only looking at the core solar conversion technologies, but also looking at the soft cost. if you want to put [inaudible] on your rooftop, the soft costs can dominate the overall budget cost. we believe there is a lot of room to reduce that. costs of solar and onshore wind and batteries and leds have come down dramatically. one of the
messages is, we should stop thinking that somehow these technologies are always 5-10 years away. we believe the costs are now coming into the range where there are lots of marketplace opportunities under appropriate regulatory standards. we are pushing solar very hard. i personally am extremely bullish on solar. i believe we will see it grow faster than almost any of the predictions we have had. but it will be part of a system. it is obviously variable in its output. at a minimum, the son is only out on average 12 hours per day. that leads to integration,
either through grids, combination with perhaps gas-fired, storage. these are all mechanisms that will allow solar to play a role at a large scale. >> from solar, we go nuclear. the nrc is reviewing the waste policy. utilities still say they want to keep nuclear on the table as an option. will the doe consider loan guarantee and do this as a kickstart for small modular reactors? >> as i said earlier, we still have a very significant amount of loan authority for advanced vehicles and another program for all of the above. as we go forward, we are developing plans for all of the
above. this can include nuclear and small modular reactors in which we currently have two commitments to advance rather different designs of small modular reactors to first mover status in roughly a decade. >> this is a summary question. given the fact that the market has been making choices, why do we need a federal energy policy? >> good question. let me first give a post script to that last question. in addition to the nuclear power plants, the nuclear waste issue was also mentioned. let me repeat where we are on that.
first of all, we continue to think the yucca mountain project is unworkable, and that we need to pursue the recommendations made in the blue-ribbon commission that the president and secretary put together a few years ago that i happen to serve on. the first important point there is we believe only a consent-based approach will be ultimately successful and we ultimately believe that we need to pursue repositories in parallel with storage facilities, long-term storage facilities, sometimes called interim storage facilities. there, the administration has proposed, and a bipartisan group
in the senate has adanvced the concept, that's what we should be doing is promptly go to a pilot storage facility that would at least take the spent fuel from the reactors that have been shut down. free up the site and consolidate the fuel. now, back to the current question on national energy policy. what i would say is, take the subject of the quadrennial energy review i mentioned already for the first year. infrastructure ultimately is in the private sector's hands. but we have tremendous public interest and need for this. so for example, we will be carrying out at the department, as part of this review, all whole set of fuel resiliency studies that are regional in
nature. the fuel challenges we have seen are very different in different parts of the country. what that will lead to in terms of policy -- will it require government-sponsored installations? will it require suggestions of legislation? will it require working with states in terms of their regulatory structures to encourage that we're moving coherently towards the kind of energy infrastructure that will move electricity and fuels to people when they need them under normal conditions and when they need them under abnormal conditions? >> thank you. we have two minutes left. i will talk faster. i would like to remind everyone that the next speaker event will be monday, february 24. we will have the republican from california who was chair of the
house armed services committee. second, i would like to present the guest speaker today. i must say, didn't he do well with answering such a wide range of questions? we thank you very much. [applause] i would like to present you with the traditional national press club mug. i do not know what types of energy drinks to use, but i am sure they can fit in there. i want to go over by 30 seconds to ask a final question. the economist wrote this week about the united states becoming the new -- the world's new petro state and it had a smiling barack obama in an arab head dress, which i do not think we would have dreamed of seeing years ago, but do you agree with
the statement that the united states is headed towards being the world new petro state? >> first of all, it depends how we define petro state. i don't want to imply a resource curse, but on the other hand the international energy agency in paris has predicted that the united states will become the world's largest gas producer and oil producer in this decade. we are certainly already the producer inined btu terms of oil and gas. that is very real. we will see some economic implications going forward. >> thank you, so much. thank you all for coming. this has been a very memorable first luncheon for me. i hope you will come back from anymore starting next monday. we are adjourned. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]